HP ZBook 14 G2 (College Review)

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buy1._V192207739_HP ZBook 14HP ZBook 14

The HP ZBook 14 G2 is a powerful portable workstation in a sleek design. Unlike other workstations, HP encourages you to take this beast out and about with no worries. Can you truly rely on it when on the go in college though? Let’s take a look in this college-exclusive HP ZBook 14 G2 review.


Features

  • Easy to change components
  • ISV Certified
  • HP Remote Graphics Software
  • MIL-STD 810G tested
  • Dualpoint backlit keyboard
  • Removable battery
  • 720p HD webcam

Specs

  • Screen Size: 14″
  • Screen Resolution: 1600 x 900
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-5200U (2.2Ghz)
  • Memory: 4GB DDR3
  • Hard Drive: 500GB HDD
  • GPU: Intel integrated HD Graphics 5500, AMD FirePro W4150M
  • Wireless: Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Average Battery Life: 6.5 hours
  • Weight: 3.77 lbs

Specs Review: The HP ZBook 14 G2 comes in the uncommon 14″ screen size. The display features a 1600 x 900 resolution, which sounds average, but appears sharp in person, with vivid and accurate colors. The laptop’s frame is certified by military testing too, meaning the machine can easily take a few drops to the floor. In the base model, Intel’s Core i5 processor is running the show, more than enough for your usual lightweight tasks like internet browsing. Also included in the base model is 4GB of RAM. For a mobile workstation, this is definitely low, but for the average Joe, this won’t make a difference in usage. For those who have tons of photos and videos, 500GB of storage is provided. It should be more than enough for most people. Where the HP ZBook 14 G2 begins to differentiate itself is in its graphics. HP has two different graphics processors in the HP ZBook 14 G2, Intel’s own integrated graphics, and an AMD FirePro W4150M. Using AMD’s Enduro technology, the laptop decides the proper graphics processor to use during any given task. As a result, battery life is prolonged by using the more efficient processor for lightweight graphical tasks, and using the more powerful FirePro for things like rendering. Unfortunately, although the laptop is made for handling professional graphics-intensive tasks, the HP ZBook 14 G2 is somewhat of a disappointment in gaming. Expect it to run games only on medium settings at best. One pro, however, is the laptop’s removable cover. The cover allows for easy access to the battery and memory, letting you add more RAM if desired, or swap out the battery. Speaking of the battery, the HP ZBook 14 G2 has fantastic battery life, running for 6.5 hours of use at a time. Some have seen the lifespan reach up to 7 hours and 30 minutes, meaning an entire day away from a wall outlet is certainly feasible. Making that time away from the wall outlet easier is the laptop’s weight. Coming in at just under 4 lbs, the HP ZBook 14 G2 is one of the lighter machines to come across, and certainly won’t be a burden on your shoulders when in your backpack.

The HP ZBook 14 G2 is fairly barren of any bloatware extra software, unlike most of HP’s other offerings. Windows 8.1 Pro is installed on the laptop, though you can downgrade to Windows 7 Professional at no charge if you wish.


Customer Review Summary (from online reviews):

  • No official reviews available yet.

Conclusion for College Students: The HP ZBook 14 G2 is a powerful laptop, but for what it tries to accomplish, the base model is not enough. For a proper workstation, one will need much more than 4GB of RAM. Luckily, HP’s higher end models achieve just this, coming with more powerful processors (Intel Core i7), more RAM, (up to 16GB), and more space (up to 1.25TB). However, these upgrades come at a cost. The base model alone is about $1300; the highest end comes in at a whopping $3000. At these prices, the laptop is hard for anyone to afford. However, if you can afford a higher end model (preferably above $2300), the HP ZBook 14 G2 is perfect for future architects. Its battery life is exceptional, and the fact that the battery is replaceable makes it even better. The sturdiness is also a huge plus, and the graphical capabilities ensure that you can render even the most complex designs in CAD while on the go.

Want something geared more toward gaming in a similar size? Check out the Razer Blade 2015. The battery life isn’t as great, but you are guaranteed a machine that will handle AAA games and most CAD software.
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dylanm

I'm a big tech enthusiast and gamer. I'm also a big hockey fan, and am currently a writer on BreakThruSports.com as well.

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